The Atlanta Braves (25-22) have been playing really good baseball as of late, winning four of six during their recent homestand, and they'll look to win their fourth consecutive series as they head out to face the San Francisco Giants (20-25), who are coming off their own series win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On paper, Atlanta should take care of business over these four games in San Francisco, but for whatever reason, they're known to struggle on the West Coast. With that in mind, it's time to preview the upcoming pitching matchups in this series.
May 20th: RHP Mike Soroka vs. LHP Andrew Suarez
Can you name a hotter starter in baseball right now than Mike Soroka? He's been unhittable thus far, posting a 0.98 ERA over his first six starts, including his last outing against St. Louis where he tossed seven shutout innings.
Andrew Suarez will be making his season debut tonight for the Giants. In 29 starts last season, Suarez posted a 7-13 record with a 4.49 ERA over 29 starts. Despite his inconsistencies, he was dominant in two starts against Atlanta, throwing a combined 11.1 innings to go along with a 2.38 ERA.
May 21st: RHP Julio Teheran vs. RHP Shaun Anderson
Julio Teheran is flying under the radar as of late, posting a 0.53 ERA over his three May starts. However, he'll be pitching in a ballpark that hasn't treated him well over his career, as he has a 5.51 ERA in San Francisco over three career starts.
The Giants will be handing the ball to rookie right-hander Shaun Anderson, who just made his big league debut last week and lasted five innings while allowing just 2 runs against the Toronto Blue Jays.
#SFGiants No. 4 prospect Shaun Anderson did a little bit of everything in his #MLB debut:— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 15, 2019
On the mound: 5 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
At the plate: 2-for-2, 2B
Gameday: https://t.co/u3LXCmmOzn pic.twitter.com/y2zA75gf11
May 22nd: LHP Max Fried vs. RHP Jeff Samardzija
Southpaw Max Fried has been one of the bright spots of this rotation, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.86 ERA over 11 appearances (nine starts). After a minor bump in the road against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, Fried had his way with the Milwaukee Brewers and tossed six shutout innings with 5 strikeouts.
Right-hander Jeff Samardzija has been pretty average for the Giants this season, holding a 2-2 record with a 3.69 ERA over nine outings. Despite coming off a 5.1-inning performance against Arizona where he didn't record a strikeouts, he still has swing-and-miss stuff the Braves lineup should be aware of.
May 23rd: RHP Kevin Gausman vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner
In the series finale on Thursday, the Braves will hand the ball to right-hander Kevin Gausman, who in his last two starts has combined to allow just 3 earned runs over 12 innings with 10 strikeouts.
Madison Bumgarner (who could be in a Braves uniform come the trade deadline) hasn't been as a consistent you'd expect from a frontline starter, posing a 3-4 record with a 4.21 ERA over 10 starts. He's striking out better than a batter per inning, but home runs (nine) have been a bit of an issue in 2019. However, in 12 career starts against Atlanta he holds a 2.71 ERA.
Braves rookie Austin Riley has been on a tear since being called up last week, slashing an incredible .421/.421/.789 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI over five games (19 at-bats).
Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval has had a bit of a resurgence, slashing .387/.441/.935 with five home runs and 10 RBI over his last 31 at-bats.